Our 2012-2013 Season!

PEI Symphony Announces 2012-2013 Season

“Celebrate Your Symphony”

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – The PEI Symphony Orchestra is excited to announce the program for its’ upcoming 45th season, which includes a number of featured guests and highlights.  The subscription series includes four concerts this year, three under the skilled direction of music director and conductor Dr. James Mark, and for the first time in years the PEI Symphony welcomes a guest conductor!

On October 14th 2012, the season starts with a storm with a new Canadian work entitled Hurricane Juan Piano Concerto featuring composer and piano soloist Peter Allen.  As a concert pianist, Peter Allen is often heard on CBC regional and national radio and is well known to audiences in the Maritimes and throughout Canada for his captivating interpretations, and soulful artistry.  Also on the program is the very popular New World Symphony by Dvorak and the Rackoczy March from The Damnation of Faust  by Berlioz.

On November 25th, the orchestra is pleased to welcome rising PEI violin soloist Christina Bouey to perform Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D Major, and excited to perform the dynamic and famous The Firebird by Stravinsky!  The program also features the Overture to Hänsel und Gretel by Humperdinck and The Dolly Suite by Fauré.

For the first concert of 2013, on February 10th the PEI Symphony Orchestra welcomes guest conductor Mark Shapiro.  His work has been praised by the New York Times for its “virtuosity and assurance,” which also remarked on its “uncommon polish,” and characterized by the New Jersey Star-Ledger as “erudite and far-reaching.”  Shapiro is currently music director of the St. Cecilia Chorus and Orchestra in New York, Artistic Director of Cantori New York, and principal guest conductor of the chamber orchestra Nova Sinfonia in Halifax whom he has led in performances of works by Beethoven, Brahms, Dvorak, Schubert, Schumann, and Tchaikovsky.  This program will feature Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 in e minor, Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, and a new work by PEI composer Dr. Richard Covey.

Dr. Covey is the recent winner of the PEI Symphony’s Call For Scores competition.  Earlier this year PEI resident composers were invited to submit works that demonstrate skills in writing for orchestra or large ensemble.   From the submitted works, Dr. Covey was selected by jury, and commissioned to create a new work for the PEISO’s February 2013 concert!

The February program also features another rising PEI violin talent Adrian Irvine, who is the featured soloist for the Violin Concerto No. 1 by Bruch.   Adrian was recently awarded the Suzanne Brenton Award which is given each year to deserving advanced students who have performed exceptionally in the PEI Kiwanis Provincial Music Festival.

For the final concert of the 2012-2013 subscription series, on April 14 the PEI Symphony Orchestra led by Dr. Mark will perform Mozart’s Symphony No. 25, the fun and popular Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns, and the world premiere of another new work by the PEISO’s Composer-in-Residence Jim O’Leary, which will feature international jazz recording artist, Paul Tynan.

PEISO Season Subscriptions are on sale now, and offer the bargain of 4 PEISO concerts for the price of 3.  For subscription forms and more information call 892-4333.  Tickets to individual concerts will go on sale at the Confederation Centre Box Office in mid-September.

For more information, please visit www.peisymphony.com or send a message to marketing@peisymphony.com.


Romantic Music for a Summer Evening

Concert “Romantic Music for a Summer Evening”

Saturday, July 28, 2012, 7:30pm, Dr. Steel Recital Hall, UPEI
David Parker, Horn; Karem Simon, Clarinet; Frances Gray, piano

An unusual combination of instruments will be featured at a late-July concert entitled “Romantic Music for a Summer Evening” to be held at the Dr. Steel Recital Hall, University of Prince Edward Island. On Saturday, July 28 at 7:30pm, audience members will be treated to a rare trio by the composer Carl Reinecke. Few trios in the traditional chamber music literature combine clarinet, horn and piano and this is quite possibly a première performance of it on Prince Edward Island. Another featured work is the wonderfully-mature Sonata in F Minor for clarinet and piano by Johannes Brahms, a contemporary of Reinecke. Rounding out the program will be a set of romantic “Pieces Melodiques” for horn and piano by the French composer Charles Gounod. Tickets ($15 adult; $10 seniors/students) will be available at the door beginning at 7pm.

David Parker has been Principal Hornist of Symphony Nova Scotia since 2000.  He has been a member of the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Sinfonietta, and the Quebec Symphony Orchestra.  He has also performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Tafelmusik, the Hamilton Philharmonic, the Boston Lyric Opera and the Boston Pops Orchestra.  He holds degrees in music from Boston University, the University of Toronto, and Acadia University.  His teachers have included Daniel Katzen, Hermann Baumann and Eugene Rittich.  Further studies have included residencies at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Tanglewood, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute, and the Pacific Music Festival. Mr. Parker regularly performs in music festivals and chamber music series including Scotia Festival of Music, the Music Room, the Charlottetown Festival, the Garden Room, St. Cecelia Society, Music at Three Churches, Indian River Festival and the New Brunswick Summer Music Festival.  Mr. Parker teaches at Dalhousie University, the University of Moncton, and is currently the horn teacher and Centre Director of Sistema New Brunswick in Moncton.

Canadian clarinetist Karem J. Simon has been a member of the University of Prince Edward Island Music Faculty since 1991. He is an active soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, and conductor. A native of Newfoundland and a graduate of the University of British Columbia, Northwestern, and Mount Allison Universities, Dr. Simon has been a featured artist with the Prince Edward Island Symphony, the Saint John String Quartet, and Gros Morne Summer Music. As a member of eklektikos he has been involved with the premieres of contemporary chamber music. Among the major influences of his clarinetistry are Ronald de Kant, Wesley Foster, Clark Brody, Ronald Goddard, and Robert Spring. In 2001 he was recipient of the Association of Atlantic University’s Teaching Excellence Award for Instructional Leadership. Dr. Simon is principal clarinetist of the Prince Edward Island Symphony Orchestra and was conductor of the 2007 National Youth Band of Canada.

Pianist Frances Gray is well known for her solo and chamber music performances, broadcasts, adjudicating and teaching, She has recorded three solo CDs—Poems for Piano, The Evocative Piano, and Soundscapes of Spain, all nominated for ECMA classical music awards.  She has performed throughout Canada, in the United States, England, Belgium, Russia and Australia. She is the pianist/keyboardist with the Prince Edward Island Symphony Orchestra, with whom she has performed many times as concerto soloist. Dr. Gray holds a B.Mus. from McGill University and MM and DM degrees from Indiana University where she studied with Menahem Pressler, renowned pianist of the Beaux Arts Trio. Awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship, Frances Gray spent a year at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England. She also attended master class sessions at Tanglewood with the Russian duo-piano team, Victor Babin and Vitya Vronsky.She has been a long-time valued Professor of Piano and Theory at UPEI in Charlottetown and has frequently adjudicated county and provincial music festivals and competitions in the Atlantic Region.

Concerts at The Kirk, Wednesdays at Noon

The summer classical concert series at The Kirk of St. James are on again – a wonderful opportunity to hear live classical music during the lunch hour each Wednesday until mid August.

Wednesday, July 11

James and Penelope Mark, presented a delightful program of clarinet and piano music.

Wednesday, July 18

An exciting program by Karem Simon, clarinet assisted by Krista Carruthers, percussion.

Wednesday, July 25

Saxophonist Sarah McCormack, assisted by Frances McBurnie on piano presented worksby Paule Maurice, Paul Creston and Pierre Max Dubois.  Sarah begins a Masters Degree in Music at the University of Calgary this fall.


Wednesday, August 1

Kay Diviney, flute and Frances McBurnie, piano, performed works by Gaubert, Devienne, Roussel, and the charming Suite in b minor by J. S. Bach.  Diviney and McBurnie have been performing in this series since its beginning in 2002.

Wednesday, August 8

The summer classical concert series at The Kirk of St. James continues this week with two talented young brass performers.

Matthew Rowsell graduated from the University of Prince Edward Island in 2009 with a Bachelor of Music. He was a National winner of the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals competition. Since leaving UPEI, Matthew attended graduate school for performance in Pittsburgh, PA and Ottawa, ON. He currently lives in Ottawa and works as a full time musician in the Central Band of the Canadian Forces.

Laura MacLeod is studying trumpet at the University of Prince Edward Island with Dr. Gregory Irvine. She has been the principal trumpet in the UPEI Wind Symphony for the past three years as well as principal trumpet in the 2011 National Youth Band of Canada in Montreal, QC. She plays regularly with the Prince Edward Island Symphony

They are assisted in their performances this week by Frances McBurnie, well-known pianist and Music Director at the Kirk of St. James.

The program this week includes Jean Hubeau’s Sonata for Trumpet and Piano, Handel’s Suite in D major for piccolo trumpet, Aria and Polonaise for trombone and piano by Jongen, and an exciting new work for trombone and piano by Filas, Sonata at the End of the Century.

Concerts start by 12:10pm and are usually over by 1pm.   The Kirk of St. James is located at 35 Fitzroy St., Charlottetown PEI.

There is no admission charge, all of the musicians donate their time, talent and skills. Donations from the audience are gratefully accepted. This year the donations will go to the Choral Scholar program at the Kirk of St. James


Karem Simon to perform Alexina Louie’s Cadenzas three times in July

The University of Prince Edward Island’s Dr. Karem Simon will be performing Vancouver native Alexina Louie’s Cadenzas, a piece for clarinet and percussion. Cadenzas was premiered on March 22nd, 1986 at The Music Gallery in Toronto.

Dr. Simon will be performing the work on July 1st, 2012, at UPEI’s Dr. Steel Recital Hall, McMillan Hall, and Schurman Market Square (three performances in one day!) He will also be performing the work on July 13, 2012, at UPEI’s Robertson Library, and July 18th, 2012, at St. James Presbyterian Church.

For a preview, here’s a link to the Centrestreams recording of Cadenzas.

Update from our Annual General Meeting

Thank you to all attendees at our PEI Symphony AGM, held Thursday June 21st at the Park Royal United Church.  This past season was a great success and we’re certainly looking forward to another great one this year.

We reviewed reports from our outgoing President Joan MacFarlane, our Music Director Dr. James Mark, our outgoing Treasurer Sam Morgulis, and reports from staff and committees.  Highlights this year included recognizing the wonderful music and soloist performances this year from the four PEI Symphony performances and also by the NAC Orchestra; and recognizing the generous donations by our patrons and volunteer base this past year.  Our audience attendance was up from last season and concert revenues were up 9.1% which were encouraging results to be sure.

Thank yous were made to outgoing Directors Richard Covey, Margo Connors, Brenda Dewar, Teresa Hennebery and Sam Morgulis, and to outgoing Personnel Manager Maggie Lillo for all their contributions over the years.   For this coming season the following Directors were approved:  Dan Rowswell as President, Joan MacFarlane as Past President, Lana Beth Barkhouse, and Karem Simon as Orchestra Liaison.  In addition Sam Morgulis and Teresa Hennebery will continue as Directors until August.  Anyone interested in serving on the Board of Directors is welcome – please call 892-4333 and leave a message or contact vp@ peisymphony.com.

Copies of our audited financials and AGM reports are available to anyone who is interested.

PEI Symphony AGM, Thursday June 21st

The PEI Symphony will have it’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday June 21st at 7pm in the Park Royal United Church.  Please come to the side door off the parking lot, not the sanctuary entrance – and look for the room on the right at the top of the stairs.  Anyone interested in the PEI Symphony is welcome to attend.

Last Chance for tickets for Serenade to Spring Dinner and Auction – June 2

Only a few days left to get your tickets for our most important fundraiser of the year. Please support your PEI Symphony Orchestra and plan to attend our Serenade to Spring Dinner and Auction on Saturday, June 2nd.

Tickets are $90 per person with a $50 tax receipt. If you’re not available June 2 why not just send us the $50 donation in return for the tax receipt for next year’s taxes.

Tickets are available by calling our PEISO Administrator Natalie at 892-4333.

We need your help. Thank you for your continued support – and please pass the word along!

Buy Tickets online

Tickets now available for “Serenade to Spring” Dinner & Auction

Tickets are available this week for our most important fundraiser of the year. Please support your PEI Symphony Orchestra and plan to attend our Serenade to Spring Dinner and Auction on Saturday, June 2nd.

For 2012 we have a wonderful menu this year provided by the Rodd Charlottetown, and a fantastic assortment of art, gift certificates and donations for both the live and silent auctions.  And we are excited to announce Patrick Ledwell will be our master of ceremonies!

Location:  Rodd Charlottetown, 75 Kent Street

6:00 Cocktails and Auction Viewing
7:00 Dinner & Bidding

Hosted by Patrick Ledwell
Music by Singing Strings

Tickets are $90 per person with a $50 tax receipt. If you’re not available June 2 why not just send us the $50 donation in return for the tax receipt for next year’s taxes.

Tickets are available by calling our PEISO Administrator Natalie at 892-4333.

Every June the PEI Symphony presents our most important fundraiser, entitled “Serenade to Spring”.   It’s a gourmet dinner and auction featuring high quality items including paintings and works of art by local PEI artists, gift certificates for meals, golfing and quality services by local businesses, special music lessons and concerts by top Island musicians and other special items.

We need your help. Thank you for your continued support – and please pass the word along!


We’re looking for Friends!

Would you like to be more involved in the PEISO but don’t have time to serve on the Board of Directors?  The PEISO is looking for “Friends of the PEI Symphony” who share a common interest and enthusiasm in our wonderful orchestra.

We are looking to establish a volunteer group to assist with providing food on concert weekends; with lobby sales and activities and with PEISO fundraisers.

As a thank-you for becoming a “Friend ” you will receive invitations to our receptions to meet our musicians and soloists, discounts on our CD sales and recognition in our program and on our website.

If you are interested in getting involved and attending an inaugural meeting, please contact Natalie in the PEISO office at (902) 892-4333.


Ludwig van Beethoven

Celebrate the Classics: Old & New!

Come Celebrate your PEI Symphony as we celebrate the final concert of our fantastic 44th season.

“Celebrate the Classics:  Old & New!” , April 15th 2:30pm, at the Homburg Theatre of the Confederation Centre of the Arts.

  • Symphony No. 7, by Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Polovetsian Dances from “Prince Igor”, by Alexander Borodin
  • Variations on a Theme for String Orchestra, by PEI composer Alan Reesor
  • Sixty-Three, by PEISO Composer-in-Residence Jim O’Leary
[learn_more caption="Special Symphony & Supper Offer with The Maple Grille" state="open"] Celebrate Spring this year with our “Symphony and Supper” special dinner offer at The Maple Grille restaurant. Present two tickets to the April 15th concert at The Maple Grill, order two entrées, and receive 50% off the second entrée. This offer is valid for reservations only, on Sunday April 15th and Monday April 16th at The Maple Grill at 67 University Avenue.[/learn_more]

Don’t miss our final concert of our 44th season, featuring two popular classics by Beethoven and Borodin, and new works by two talented PEI composers.

The final concert of the season on April 15, 2012 will ‘Celebrate the Classics, both old and new’.  Beethoven’s personal favourite Symphony No. 7 in A Major, and Borodin’s Polovetsian Dances are the wonderful classics of the ages.  For newer fare, the PEI Symphony will present Variations on a Theme for String Orchestra by PEI composer Alan Reesor, and the world premiere of a new work entitled Sixty Three by the PEISO’s Composer-in-Residence Jim O’Leary.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) wrote Symphony No. 7 in 1812, in the same year as his famous letter to his “Immortal Beloved”.  Perhaps this had an impact as noted by Richard Wagner’s description of the work as “All tumult, all yearning and storming of the heart.  Many will recognize the work from movies such as “Immortal Beloved, more recently the Oscar winning “The King’s Speech”, and even episodes of The Simpsons and Seinfeld.

As well known for his articles on chemistry as he is for his music, Russian composer Alexander Borodin (1833-87) composed music as a hobby, often when too ill to give his chemistry lectures.  Borodin’s most famous work Polovetsian Dances features the triumphant songs and dances imagined to be offered by Polovetsian slaves freed by the defeat of  12th-century Russian Prince Igor.

From Europe to closer home, the orchestra will also perform Variations on a Theme for String Orchestra by well known PEI composer, organist, educator and musician Alan Reesor.  Alan has lived in Charlottetown since 1970; served as PEISO Conductor from 1970 to 1976; taught at UPEI for twenty-seven years, and continues to teach organ majors at the university.  Born in 1936, Alan began playing the pipe organ when he was 15, making arrangements with local churches – and on one occasion broke into a locked church through an open window to practise.

Finally, the concert program will feature the world premiere of a new work entitled Sixty-three by PEISO Composer-in-Residence Jim O’Leary.  Jim has been busy developing and launching the first PEI Symphony ‘Call for Scores’ project where PEI resident composers are invited to apply for a commission to create a work to be performed by the PEI Symphony in February 2013.

In an effort to help make it easier for families to enjoy orchestral music together, the PEI Symphony continues to offer discounted tickets for youth and students at $15 for any seat in the house.    The concert begins at 2:30pm on Sunday April 15th, and everyone is welcome to the pre-concert talk at 1:15pm in Studio One.

Celebrate Spring this year with our “Symphony and Supper” special dinner offer at The Maple Grille restaurant.   Present two tickets to the April 15th concert at The Maple Grill, order two entrées, and receive 50% off the second entrée.  This offer is valid for reservations only, on Sunday April 15th and Monday April 16th at The Maple Grill at 67 University Avenue.

At 1:15pm  PEISO Conductor James Mark will host our regular  Pre-Concert Talk’ in Studio One.  UPEI musicologist Annette Campbell and PEISO Composer-In-Residence Jim O’Leary join Dr. Mark to discuss the music of the afternoon concert, along with interesting aspects of its composition, performance and history

Tickets at the Confederation Centre Box Office, or online.  Students and children tickets are only $15 for any seat in the hall.

Come Celebrate the Classics, with your PEI Symphony!